Sirius Taken Seriously


Dogs

Sirius

For much of my life, I had a dog or dogs. Only recently, within the past ten years or so, have I been dog free. Having dogs, I think, requires one to have certain guarantees in life. You need a yard with a fence. You need potential dog sitters. You need the right kinds of food. You also are going to require a lot of vet trips. My life does not meet these parameters at this point, and so therefore I do not have a dog. I only mention this so that when I start speaking about Sirius, the “Dog Star” momentarily, everyone will know it is not because JB hates dogs or something.

Sirius

The Bible tells believers to “come out of Egypt”. This phrase originally meant the actual country of Egypt, but subsequently it means the mentality and spirituality of Egypt since it is and was a place of spiritual bondage. In the lineages traced in the Bible, we find that Mitzraim, or Egypt, is a son of Ham, and we all know what happened with Ham and Noah–he “saw” his father’s nakedness while his father was inebriated. This caused Noah to curse him from that day forward. Therefore, we can understand Egypt as a place that culminated and concentrated this curse such that Pharaoh and Egypt were torn apart by God. So, it is imperative that if we do not wish to share in some nasty Egyptian curse that we “come out of it” as much as possible. Indeed, this is so whether one believes or does not believe. If not, ask yourself the question if you are not in Egypt why you should not get up and move there today!

The Star Sirius, in Egypt, was a “Big deal”. As a matter of fact, it was such a big deal, everybody wanted to know when it was going to rise helical–that is before the sun–because this signaled that the Nile was about to flood. If you lived in a lower region, you better haul your Egyptian ass elsewhere with haste!

But that was the only reason Egypt tracked this star.

Sirius Association (or, This is Why so Serious)

Other cultures regarded Sirius and Egypt saw it with many of these associations in addition. Traditionally, the Egyptian view of the Dog Star were the “Dog Days of Summer” but a little research shows us there is more:

SEIRIOS (Sirius) was the god or goddess of the Dog-Star, the brightest star of the constellation Canis Major. The pre-dawn rising of the star in the path of the sun was believed to be the source of the scorching heat and droughts of midsummer.

Seirios appears in many guises in myth. He or she was variously described as Maira (Maera) daughter of the Titan Atlas, Maira the dog of the hero Ikarios (Icarius), Lailaps (Laelaps) the hound of Orion, and Kyon Khryseos the golden-hound of Zeus. It may also have been associated with Orthros (“Morning Twilight”) the hound of Geryon, giant of the west. The star was no doubt also connected with the dog-loving goddess Hekate who was the daughter of Perses “the Destroyer” and Asteria “the Starry One.”

ALTERNATE NAMES Greek Name

Αστηρ Κυον Transliteration

Astêr Kyon Latin Spelling

Aster Cyon Translation

The Dog Star CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES THE DOG-STAR SIRIUS APPEASED BY ARISTAEUS

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 2. 518 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) : “Seirios (Sirius) was scorching the Minoan Islands from the sky, and the people could find no permanent cure for the trouble till Hekatos (Hecatus) [Apollon] put it in their heads to send for Aristaios (Aristaeus). So, as his father’s [Apollon’s] command, Aristaios assembled the Parrhasian tribe, who are descendants of Lykaon (Lycaon), left Phthia, and settled in Keos (Ceos). He raised a great altar to Zeus Ikmaios (the Rain-God) and made ritual offerings in the hills to the Dog-star and to Zeus Kronides himself. In response, Zeus gave his orders–and the Etesiai (Etesian Winds) refresh the earth for forty days. The priests of Keos still make yearly sacrifice before the rising of the Kyon (Dog).”

Callimachus, Aetia Fragment 3. 1 (from Oxyrhynchus Papyri 7) (trans. Trypanis) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) : “The [Kean (Cean)] priests of Zeus Aristaios Ikmaios (Aristaeus Icmaeus, the Lord of Moisture) : priests whose business it is upon the mountain-tops to assuage stern Maira (Maera) [Seirios (Sirius)] when she rises.”

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 81. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) : “A plague [i.e. a pestilence arising in a time of drought] prevailed throughout Greece the sacrifice he offered there was on behalf of all the Greeks. And since the sacrifice was made at the time of the rising of the star Seirios (Sirius), which is the period when the Etesian winds customarily blow, the pestilential diseases, we are told, came to an end. Now the man who ponders upon this event may reasonably marvel at the strange turn which fortune took; for the same man [Aristaios (Aristaeus)] who saw his son [Aktaion (Actaeon)] done to death by the dogs likewise put an end to the influence of the star which, of all the stars of heaven, bears the same name [i.e. Seirios (Sirius) was known as the dog-star] and is thought to bring destruction upon mankind, and by so doing was responsible for saving the lives of the rest.”

SEIRIOS (Sirius) was the god or goddess of the Dog-Star, the brightest star of the constellation Canis Major. The pre-dawn rising of the star in the path of the sun was believed to be the source of the scorching heat and droughts of midsummer.

Seirios appears in many guises in myth. He or she was variously described as Maira (Maera) daughter of the Titan Atlas, Maira the dog of the hero Ikarios (Icarius), Lailaps (Laelaps) the hound of Orion, and Kyon Khryseos the golden-hound of Zeus. It may also have been associated with Orthros (“Morning Twilight”) the hound of Geryon, giant of the west. The star was no doubt also connected with the dog-loving goddess Hekate who was the daughter of Perses “the Destroyer” and Asteria “the Starry One.”

The Dog Star CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES THE DOG-STAR SIRIUS APPEASED BY ARISTAEUS

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 2. 518 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) : “Seirios (Sirius) was scorching the Minoan Islands from the sky, and the people could find no permanent cure for the trouble till Hekatos (Hecatus) [Apollon] put it in their heads to send for Aristaios (Aristaeus). So, as his father’s [Apollon’s] command, Aristaios assembled the Parrhasian tribe, who are descendants of Lykaon (Lycaon), left Phthia, and settled in Keos (Ceos). He raised a great altar to Zeus Ikmaios (the Rain-God) and made ritual offerings in the hills to the Dog-star and to Zeus Kronides himself. In response, Zeus gave his orders–and the Etesiai (Etesian Winds) refresh the earth for forty days. The priests of Keos still make yearly sacrifice before the rising of the Kyon (Dog).”

Callimachus, Aetia Fragment 3. 1 (from Oxyrhynchus Papyri 7) (trans. Trypanis) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) : “The [Kean (Cean)] priests of Zeus Aristaios Ikmaios (Aristaeus Icmaeus, the Lord of Moisture) : priests whose business it is upon the mountain-tops to assuage stern Maira (Maera) [Seirios (Sirius)] when she rises.”

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 81. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) : “A plague [i.e. a pestilence arising in a time of drought] prevailed throughout Greece the sacrifice he offered there was on behalf of all the Greeks. And since the sacrifice was made at the time of the rising of the star Seirios (Sirius), which is the period when the Etesian winds customarily blow, the pestilential diseases, we are told, came to an end. Now the man who ponders upon this event may reasonably marvel at the strange turn which fortune took; for the same man [Aristaios (Aristaeus)] who saw his son [Aktaion (Actaeon)] done to death by the dogs likewise put an end to the influence of the star which, of all the stars of heaven, bears the same name [i.e. Seirios (Sirius) was known as the dog-star] and is thought to bring destruction upon mankind, and by so doing was responsible for saving the lives of the rest.”

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 4 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) : “Icarus [of Attika (Attica)] received the wine from Father Liber [Dionysos] . . . when he showed it to the shepherds . . . some of them, became stupefied, and sprawling here and there, as if half-dead, kept uttering unseemly things. The others, thinking poison had been given the shepherds by Icarus . . . killed him, and threw him into a well, or, as others say, buried him near a certain tree. However, when those who had fallen asleep, woke up, saying that hey had never rested better, and kept asking for Icarus in order to reward him, his murderers, stirred by conscience, at once took to flight and came to the island of the Ceans. Received there as guests, they established homes for themselves . . . But when Erigone, the daughter of Icarus, moved by longing for her father, saw he did not return and was on the point of going out to hunt for him, the dog of Icarus, Maera by name, returned to her, howling as if lamenting the death of its master . . . [and] taking hold of her dress with its teeth, led her to the body. As soon as the girl saw it, abandoning hope, and overcome with loneliness and poverty, with many tearful lamentations she brought death on herself by hanging from the very tree beneath which her father was buried. And the dog made atonement for her death by its own life. Some say that it cast itself into the well, Anigrus by name. For this reason they repeat the story that no one afterward drank from that well. Jupiter [Zeus], pitying their misfortune, represented their forms among the stars . . . The dog, however, from its own name and likeness, they have called Canicula. It is called Procyon by the Greeks, because it rises before the greater Dog. Others say these were pictured among the stars by Father Liber [Dionysos].

[The constellation] Canicula rising with its heat, scorched the land of the Ceans, and robbed their fields of produce, and caused the inhabitants, since they had welcomed the bandits to be plagued by sickness, and to pay the penalty to Icarus with suffering. Their king, Aristaeus, son of Apollo and Cyrene, and father of Actaeon, asked his father by what means he could free the state from affliction. The god bade them expiate the death of Icarus with many victims, and asked from Jove that when Canicula rises he should send wind for forty days to temper thee heat of Canicula. This command Arsitaeus carried out, and obtained from Jove [Zeus] the favour that the Etesian winds should blow.”

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 13. 253 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) : “He [Aristaios (Aristaeus)] had not yet migrated to the island formerly called Meropis [Kos (Cos)] : he had not yet brought there the lifebreathing wind of Zeus the Defender [the Etesian Winds], and checked the fiery vapour of the parched season; he had not stood steelclad to receive the glare of Seirios (Sirius), and all night long repelled and clamed the star’s fiery heat–and even now the winds cool him with light puffs, as he lances his hot parching fire through the air from glowing throat.“Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 4 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) : “Icarus [of Attika (Attica)] received the wine from Father Liber [Dionysos] . . . when he showed it to the shepherds . . . some of them, became stupefied, and sprawling here and there, as if half-dead, kept uttering unseemly things. The others, thinking poison had been given the shepherds by Icarus . . . killed him, and threw him into a well, or, as others say, buried him near a certain tree. However, when those who had fallen asleep, woke up, saying that hey had never rested better, and kept asking for Icarus in order to reward him, his murderers, stirred by conscience, at once took to flight and came to the island of the Ceans. Received there as guests, they established homes for themselves . . . But when Erigone, the daughter of Icarus, moved by longing for her father, saw he did not return and was on the point of going out to hunt for him, the dog of Icarus, Maera by name, returned to her, howling as if lamenting the death of its master . . . [and] taking hold of her dress with its teeth, led her to the body. As soon as the girl saw it, abandoning hope, and overcome with loneliness and poverty, with many tearful lamentations she brought death on herself by hanging from the very tree beneath which her father was buried. And the dog made atonement for her death by its own life. Some say that it cast itself into the well, Anigrus by name. For this reason they repeat the story that no one afterward drank from that well. Jupiter [Zeus], pitying their misfortune, represented their forms among the stars . . . The dog, however, from its own name and likeness, they have called Canicula. It is called Procyon by the Greeks, because it rises before the greater Dog. Others say these were pictured among the stars by Father Liber [Dionysos].

[The constellation] Canicula rising with its heat, scorched the land of the Ceans, and robbed their fields of produce, and caused the inhabitants, since they had welcomed the bandits to be plagued by sickness, and to pay the penalty to Icarus with suffering. Their king, Aristaeus, son of Apollo and Cyrene, and father of Actaeon, asked his father by what means he could free the state from affliction. The god bade them expiate the death of Icarus with many victims, and asked from Jove that when Canicula rises he should send wind for forty days to temper thee heat of Canicula. This command Arsitaeus carried out, and obtained from Jove [Zeus] the favour that the Etesian winds should blow.”

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 13. 253 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) : “He [Aristaios (Aristaeus)] had not yet migrated to the island formerly called Meropis [Kos (Cos)] : he had not yet brought there the lifebreathing wind of Zeus the Defender [the Etesian Winds], and checked the fiery vapour of the parched season; he had not stood steelclad to receive the glare of Seirios (Sirius), and all night long repelled and clamed the star’s fiery heat–and even now the winds cool him with light puffs, as he lances his hot parching fire through the air from glowing throat.”

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20220903001207/https://www.theoi.com/Titan/AsterSeirios.html

Hot Dog!

That was a lot of reading, was it not? There was a whole lotta Zeus, and fevers, and death, and water and…oh yeah, that’s all a bunch of pagan witchcraft stuff. The implication of that, of course, is that on some level Egypt liked pestilence and witchcraft stuff, right up until the tables were turned on them and they did not. Biblically speaking, we hear a little about dogs licking up the blood of Jezebel. So, the conditionals essentially hold. We know that Zeus was considered to be the “abomination that brings desolation” or at least the worship of him through swine, and we even get to see the Angel of the Pit in there make some recommendations! I mean, what could go wrong with any of that?

Sirius and Royalty and Other Annoying Assertions

Many astrology books like to put Sirius up as being a star of kings or something probably equating the money that it ties to from previous associations with medicine and the flooding of the Nile. This is categorically a mistake. If you want to deal with a Royal Star tied to gold, you would been looking at the constellation of Leo with a star like Regulus or another star in Leo that is modernly referred to as “alpha”. What you would not pick is some weird witchcraft/plague star unless of course you wanted a lot of people to die to make you money. I mean, that’s a pretty awesome 401-k inspiration, having everyone basically tie themselves to a death angel and think they are royal because of it and then have them die AFTER buying your book or whatever, but I would say that it is also quite likely evil if not malevolent to do that. You want to feel special? Here! Take this gold star of cursedom!

Greek Thought

However much of the issue derives from a Greek confusion. Remember, Greece was, for a long time, pagan. Therefore the Greeks got especially good at paganism and being clever and tricky. Maybe this is why the term “Grecko-Roman” is often not all that far removed from “Egyptian.”

Back To Dogs, Though

It has been my observation that a lot of folks who own dogs are actually, in a very strange way, paying homage to the Dog Star as though they are somewhat “worshiping” their pets. Of course, we can see from the above this eventually ends very badly for the pets, but it seems as though people do not stop doing whatever they were doing after this happens. They just move on to another dog. Combine this with elements of technology like satellite radio called Sirius, and you can really begin to see who is under the influence of what. If a person will gladly dish out money for their dogs and an usually named satellite radio subscription, odds are there is something else going on that is not simply a love of satellite radio or dogs. Worst case scenario, they are devotees of Hecate which is about the same as saying they worship Satan.

Sirius Ain’t Gold

The bottom line is that Sirius is not Gold or Golden and if it is, pretty soon whatever it is will be dead and probably burning in Hell. That, to me, seems sort of like the opposite of Gold unless it is Pyrite. Of course, I think that is called Fool’s Gold for a reason…

JB Schirtzinger

Jacksonville, USA
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Conveniently this entire site is about me. I do some technology, and I do some astrology.